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Pfab, Miriam; Kielkowski, Pavel; Krafczyk, Ralph; Volkwein, Wolfram; Sieber, Stephan A.; Lassak, Jürgen; Jung, Kirsten (2020): Synthetic post-translational modifications of elongation factor P using the ligase EpmA. In: FEBS Journal, Vol. 288, No. 2: pp. 663-677
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Abstract

Canonically, tRNA synthetases charge tRNA. However, the lysyl-tRNA synthetase paralog EpmA catalyzes the attachment of (R)-beta-lysine to the epsilon-amino group of lysine 34 of the translation elongation factor P (EF-P) inEscherichia coli. This modification is essential for EF-P-mediated translational rescue of ribosomes stalled at consecutive prolines. In this study, we determined the kinetics of EpmA and its variant EpmA_A298G to catalyze the post-translational modification of K34 in EF-P with eight noncanonical substrates. In addition, acetylated EF-P was generated using an amber suppression system. The impact of these synthetically modified EF-P variants onin vitrotranslation of a polyproline-containing NanoLuc luciferase reporter was analyzed. Our results show that natural (R)-beta-lysylation was more effective in rescuing stalled ribosomes than any other synthetic modification tested. Thus, our work not only provides new biochemical insights into the function of EF-P, but also opens a new route to post-translationally modify proteins using EpmA.